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Financing

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Air Quality
Climate Change
Cybersecurity
Drinking Water
Energy Efficiency
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Emergency Management
Green Building
Smart Growth
Tribes
Wastes
Wastewater and Stormwater
Watersheds
Wetlands

PROPOSED 2022 CLEAN WATER ACT FINANCIAL CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT GUIDANCE


EPA's new proposed guidance outlines strategies for communities to support affordable utility rates while planning future CWA-required investments in water infrastructure. This guidance will describe the financial information and formulas EPA intends to use to assess communities' financial resources to meet CWA requirements and create timelines to implement control measures. 

The finalized 2022 FCA will replace the 1997 Guidance for Financial Capability Assessment and Schedule Development.

 

Issue Summary

For local governments, sufficient financing is critical to support infrastructure and programs that ensure environmental compliance and protection. The resources below provide information on available grants, loans, programs, publications and organizations that can assist local governments.


General

Capacity Building

Environmental Finance Centers (EFC). The Centers serve each EPA region, providing technical assistance, training, publications and other programs relating to drinking water, stormwater and green infrastructure, clean energy and waste management. Availability of programs and services may vary between regional centers.

EPA Financing for Environmental Compliance. Eight-step planning process communities can use in determining their capital asset, technical and financial needs and in finding available funding resources to meet their compliance goals.

Grants

EPA Grants Center. Compendium of up-to-date federal environmental grant opportunities.

EPA Environmental Education (EE) Grants. Grants available to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the planet.

EPA Finances and Beyond. PowerPoint Presentation introduction to the different financial programs and grants available to municipal governments. Lists useful financial tools developed by EPA and nonprofits and introduces EPA financing and funding opportunities, including the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).

Guidance Documents

ICMA Webinar: "How to Pay: Challenges and Solutions of Environmental Protection". Covers the ins and outs of financing environmental systems, modifying rates, capital investment, asset replacement and other fundamental financial management decisions. 

Bipartisan Infrastructure Rural Playbook. Document explaining key aspects of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and upcoming funding available to rural communities. Includes links to relevant government webpages and resources for those seeking to apply for funding.

Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 Budget and Revenue Provisions. Summary outlining the IRA's budget and revenue provisions, including those pertaining to energy, environment, and transportation.

Understanding the Inflation Reduction Act. Introduces several ways that local energy and climate programs can benefit from the IRA, including drought relief and funding for "resilience hubs." 

Legislative Analysis for Counties: The Inflation Reduction Act. Article published by NACO detailing the IRA's major provisions for counties as well as a section-by-section analysis of how funds have been allocated. 

Databases and Tools

EFC at University of North Carolina: State Resources Locator. Clickable map that takes you to the funding resources, reports, webinar recordings and interactive dashboards available in your state.

Environmental Information Exchange Network. Internet-based system used by state, tribal and territorial partners to securely share environmental and health information with one another and EPA.


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Air Quality

Grants

National Clean Diesel Campaign. Funding sources for building diesel engine emission reduction programs to improve air quality and protect public health.


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Climate Change

Grants

EPA Federal Funding and Technical Assistance for Climate Adaptation. Frequently updated list of federal and state funding opportunities, technical assistance programs and financing guidance documents for localities pursuing climate adaptation and resilience projects and infrastructure updates.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Compilation of FEMA grants available to communities seeking to create hazard mitigation plans or increase their local resilience to future natural disasters, including climate change impacts like floods, hurricanes and other severe weather.

Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA). Competitive grants for localities seeking to reduce risk of flood damage to buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC). Supports local governments seeking to reduce the risks from future natural disasters through capacity-building projects.

Databases and Tools

ICLEI Climate Finance Decision Making Tree. Guides local government officials through a series of questions to match them with the most useful financing tool for their needs. Provides information on all recommended financing tools, including benefits, disadvantages and case study examples.


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Cyber Security

Grants

Department of Homeland Security State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program. $1 billion has been allocated to mitigating cybersecurity risks and threats to key infrastructure including governmental information systems and water infrastructure. Local and tribal governments are eligible to apply when applications open in the third quarter of 2022.


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Drinking Water

Grants

EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. EPA awards grants to states to establish revolving loan funds to assist public water systems with infrastructure improvements. The program also allows states to reserve a portion of their grant to fund activities needed for source water protection and enhanced water systems management.

American Rescue Plan. Communities can use American Rescue Plan Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to improve access to clean drinking water and support wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. This act provides $11.7 billion to the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF); $15 billion to the Drinking Water SRF for Lead Service Line Replacement; $4 billion to the Drinking Water SRF for Emerging Contaminants; and $5 billion to Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Grants to address emerging contaminants.

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Databases and Tools

Water Finance Clearinghouse. EPA offers two searchable databases, one on available funding sources, and one containing reports, links, webinars and other materials on financing mechanisms and approaches.

Water Finance Exchange. Partnership between federal and state stakeholders, communities, philanthropy and the financial sector to address the shortage of funding for water infrastructure projects, focusing on economically distressed and minority communities. Provides access to pre-development funding and resources as well as subject-matter experts to support communities in finding funding and building scalable solutions.

EPA Funding Integration Tool for Source Water (FITS). Interactive tool that identifies, and explains how users can integrate, available federal funding sources to finance projects that protect sources of drinking water.


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Energy Efficiency

Grants

State Energy Program. Funding available to states to design and carry out their own energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

Department of Energy (DOE) Financing Solutions and Incentives. Resources for finding and managing funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for homes, business, industry, utilities and government.

DOE Weatherization Assistance Program. Information on grant money available to states, which states can, in turn, award to local agencies to perform weatherization services.

BIL Funding available for Clean School Buses. BIL provides $5 billion over 5 years for clean school buses, including electric and alternative fuel buses. Each year, $500 million will be provided exclusively for EV buses and $500 million for EV and other cleaner alternative fuel buses.


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Environmental Justice (EJ)

Grants

EPA Office of EJ. Information about environmental justice grants and cooperative agreements, programs and other resources.

EPA EJ Small Grants Program. Funds community-driven projects focused on addressing or improving understanding of exposure to environmental hazards and public health. Grant awards up to $50,000.

EJ Funding Map. Interactive map showing locations of EPA-funded environmental justice projects.

EJ Grants, Funding and Technical Assistance. Compendium of EPA grant programs targeted at EJ communities. Includes funding for projects seeking to increase public health, remove existing sources of harmful pollution and increase public participation in local decision-making.

WIFIA Fund Facts Dashboard. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) provides long-term, low-cost supplemental loans for regionally and nationally significant projects, accelerating investment in our nation’s water infrastructure. The Fund Facts Dashboard graphically represents the portfolio of closed and pending loans and provides ways to filter the data by a range of variables.

Guidance Documents

Guide to Finding Federal Assistance and Resources for EJ Efforts. Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice's FAQ style factsheet includes details on navigating the beta.SAM.gov grant application website and links to useful EJ webinars, listservs and guidance documents.


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Emergency Management

Grants

​​EPA's Local Governments Reimbursement (LGR) Program. The LGR program may reimburse local governments and federally recognized Tribes up to $25,000 for expenses related to a release and associated emergency response measures when a local government lacks available funds. Call the toll-free LGR Helpline at 1-800-431-9209 with questions. The LGR does not cover petroleum spills, but local governments may determine their eligibility for reimbursement at the U.S. Coast Guard's National Pollution Funds Center.

Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP). Suite of risk-based grants geared for assisting states, localities, tribes and territories with mitigation, prevention, response, and recovery activities relating to acts of terrorism and other threats.

Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness (HMEP) Grant Program. Grants assist states, territories and tribes with developing and implementing emergency plans within the National Response System and under EPCRA.

FEMA Preparedness Grants. Supports capacity building to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate terrorism and other high-consequence disasters and emergencies.


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Green Building

Grants

EPA Green Building Funding Opportunities. Frequently updated list of funding sources for green building aimed at homeowners, industry, government organizations and nonprofits.

Department of Housing and Development Community Development Block Grant Program. Awards money to local governments to develop and preserve livable affordable housing. Program funding may be used for improving environmental health and resident safety. Offers helpful guides, online toolkits and webinars to communities seeking to institute community development. Grants may also be awarded to local governments through their state program.


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Smart Growth

Grants

EPA Smart Growth Grants and Other Funding. Repository of EPA grants and funding opportunities for projects that improve the quality of development while protecting human health and the environment. Projects are encouraged to utilize the Ten Smart Growth Principles.


Tribes

Indian Health Service (IHS) Sanitation Facilities Construction Program. Provides funding to assist Tribal communities build infrastructure for safe drinking water and water and waste disposal. Eligible activities include development and maintenance of an inventory of sanitation deficiencies, environmental engineering assistance with utility master planning and sanitary surveys, and technical consultation and training to improve operation and maintenance.

EPA Safe Drinking Water on Tribal Lands. Portal that links to several grant programs for ensuring access to safe drinking water for tribal communities, including funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Tribal Small and Disadvantaged Communities Grant.

EPA Clean Water Indian Set-Aside Program. Bipartisan Infrastructure Law appropriations for State Revolving Funds includes a 2% set-aside for Tribes. More information on how to access these funds for clean water infrastructure creation, improvement and maintenance is available on this landing page.


Wastes

Grants

Funding Opportunities and EPA Programs Related to the Food System. Up-to-date compendium of ongoing grant programs from EPA and other federal agencies providing funding for food systems projects, including food waste management, agricultural sustainability and community health-building initiatives.

Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM) Grants and Funding. Up-to-date compendium of OLEM funding opportunities, including grants for hazardous waste management and brownfield cleanups.

United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) Solid Waste Management Grants. Annual grant program providing funding to organizations that offer technical assistance and training to improve solid waste site planning and management. Applications open each Spring.

Guidance Documents

USDA Solid Waste Management Grants Factsheet. FAQ regarding grant program information including eligibility, terms for grants and links to additional application resources.

Databases and Tools

Resource Recycling Grant Watch. Frequently updated repository of funding opportunities for recycling projects from private, nonprofit, state and federal government sponsors.


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Wastewater and Stormwater

Grants

Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF). Funds supplied by EPA and state governments available for a wide range of water infrastructure projects, focused on increasing compliance with the Clean Water Act. EPA's CWSRF portal includes grant eligibility rules, guidance documents and financial reports from previous grantees. 

EPA Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center. Compilation of funding and grant opportunities, affordability programs, technical assistance programs and financial planning tools for water and wastewater systems.

EPA Federal Funding for Water/Wastewater Utilities in National Disasters (Fed FUNDS). Information about applicable federal disaster funding programs tailored to water and wastewater utilities. Addresses national-level, large-scale and even local disasters that result in service interruptions and significant damage to the critical water/wastewater infrastructure.

USDA Water & Waste Disposal Grants to Alleviate Health Risks on Tribal Lands and Colonias. Provides grants for developing basic drinking water and waste disposal systems to low-income communities facing health risks due to lack of access to safe drinking water and waste disposal facilities. Available to federally recognized tribal lands, areas recognized as Colonias and rural areas and towns with populations of 10,000 people or less. 

Guidance Documents

Asset Management Plans and CWSRF. Fact sheet demonstrating ways CWSRF can aid wastewater utilities in asset management planning and capital expenditures. Includes two case studies, illustrating how local systems improved with the introduction of state incentives in the first case study, and requirements for borrowers to create asset management plans in the second case study.

Local Government Stormwater Financing Manual. EFC publication on stormwater program reform, emphasizing the importance of looking beyond public funding sources. Provides detailed information on risk management for the advocated financing approach, focus group findings from local officials and technical guidance on setting utility rates.

EPA Integrated Planning Technical Assistance. EPA and EFC provide stormwater and wastewater utilities with direct guidance on Element 4 (Development, Evaluation and Selection of Preferred Alternatives) of the Integrated Municipal Stormwater and Wastewater Planning Framework.

Getting to Green: Paying for Green Infrastructure, Finance Options and Resources for Local Decision-Makers. Summarizes funding sources that support stormwater management programs or finance individual projects. Includes examples of past projects and additional resources for each funding source.

Addressing the Affordability of Water and Wastewater Services in the U.S.. National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) report summarizing the key takeaways of 20 case studies of utility affordability programs and rate structures. Provides technical guidance to local governments in designing programs to increase affordable access to water services for low-income communities.

Databases and Tools

Water Finance Clearinghouse. EPA offers two searchable databases, one on available funding sources, and one containing reports, links, webinars and other materials on financing mechanisms and approaches.

Indian Health Services -- Division of Sanitation Facilities Construction. Provides technical and financial assistance to American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages for cooperative development and construction of safe water, wastewater and solid waste systems and related support facilities.

WIFIA Fund Facts Dashboard. Interactive tool providing graphics and information regarding the WIFIA program's portfolio of closed and pending loans. Users can click different elements of the graphic to filter data by loan size, project type, geographic location and closing timeline.

DOE’s Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) provide no-cost assessments to water/wastewater treatment facilities to identify opportunities to improve productivity, reduce waste and save energy. IACs typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities for every facility assessed. Contact the IAC closest to your municipality’s facility


Watersheds

Grants

EPA Funding Resources for Watershed Protection and Restoration. List of EPA grant programs that provide funding to watershed protection and restoration projects. Includes links to each program as well as relevant reports and publications on watershed financing.

USDA Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program. Funding available to local and tribal governments to protect and restore watersheds up to 250,000 acres. Program page includes additional eligibility information and guidance documents.


Wetlands

Grants

EPA Wetlands Program Development Grants (WPDG). Funding available to projects that promote the coordination and acceleration of research, investigations, experiments, training, demonstrations, surveys and studies relating to the causes, effects, extent, prevention, reduction and elimination of water pollution. Applications open each Spring.

EPA Five Star Wetland and Urban Waters Restoration Grants. Provides funding for technical support and information exchange for community-based wetland restoration projects. Grants range from $10,000-$40,000. EPA program page includes webinars and guidance documents on the grant writing process.

Databases and Tools

EPA Wetland Grants Database. Interactive database of previous WPDG projects, including grant data, case study narratives and model products.

WPDG Case Studies. Highlights successful use of WPDGs in building one or more elements of a wetlands protection program.

 

 

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